A Naga International Support Center, NISC, www.nagalim.nl
A human rights organization
Amsterdam, May 29 2009
The Naga International Support Center, NISC, deplores Hopeson’s (NSCN) murder of Meitei officials and Khathing’s execution for being a warned traitor
Specializing in the rights of the Naga Peoples the Naga International Support Center is a human rights organization. NISC, founded to defend and highlight the rights of the Nagas internationally, supports the Naga Peoples in their just quest for self determination. As they know them well, Naga organizations are expected to live by them.
Considering the many threats to their long struggle, not only against oppressors who deny them their rights but also against opportunists who do not stop at killing innocent people as well as leaders, the Nagas who defend the nation and the rights of the Naga People are pushed to their limits. While the National Socialist Council of Nagalim, NSCN, negotiates with the Government of India an honorable settlement to this overdue conflict, they have to take the pressure and the tactics to split the Nagas. Taking this into account NISC understands the strain, the bitterness the NSCN leaders experience. Still, when at peril and the going gets really tough, the defender of the people’s rights, the NSCN as the representative body, should set the example. But, the NSCN’s execution of Khathing fails that as the NSCN fails to live up to its own standards. Unfortunately it shows it can act like the Government of India does with the dreaded Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
Understandably the people of a nation, under siege for six decades and on ceasefire for over twelve years, feel cornered when money talks and weapons speak. And, extended ceasefire, with soldiers training in camps but with nothing much else to do, make discipline fade away. When opportunists then quickly profit from the cracks forged by Naga adversaries, who grow in numbers, it is a a formidable, almost insurmountable task to keep the ranks closed.
Considering that process, does this mean the Naga customary rights system of justice collapsed?
No, because it is laudable that Hopeson of the NSCN, responsible for murdering officials in Manipur, was taken into the custody of the NSCN. After confession the NSCN investigated to collect evidence for a court of justice which on the basis sentenced him.
But why was Mr. Khathing not awarded the same treatment? Why was he awarded the death penalty without public prosecution instead? Were accusations of Khathing being a traitor and murderer enough to warrant capital punishment?
Yes, because according to the NSCN Mr. Khathing was a treacherous person. The people and the NSCN were never against him even though he was given many times many clues to correct his ways, his behavior and to understand the desire of his people. Years ago, a decade, before he defected he worked all out for his people and the NSCN trusted him to deal with the Indian leaders. But after this he changed and began to speak and act against the NSCN and openly stated he was against the organization who seeks solution outside Indian constitution. His motives with evil intentions did not end there. If he had just spoken what he believed in, the NSCN would have left him alone. But, he went further and collaborated with the enemy and other traitors and went as far as attacking and killing his own people. The NSCN questioned him: “Who is Khathing to judge his people and decide for them as he shouts from the military camp of the enemy and in the process betrays his own wife, children and the Nagas. Are we to be dependent on his mercy? Khathing is responsible for killing his own people; in the hands of the enemy his own relative among them, they were treated worse than animals. Khathing betrayed and killed his own people and we question; is that not against the human rights? Who is to judge that killing a traitor is against human rights? Khathing violated the human rights of the Nagas! The NSCN is bitter about those who don’t mind betraying their own, those who have no regard for sacrifice of life. The NSCN, now or in the future, will not allow people like Khathing to mislead or misguide our own people. The NSCN with our people stands and fight for our just cause, till the end!
No because according to NISC Mr. Khathing may have been guilty on all accounts put forward by the NSCN, accounts like siding with forces of the Government of India, standing with the Meiteis for the integrity of the state of Manipur, or worse for purchasing weapons to fight against the sovereignty of the Naga People, but just like Hopeson should have been arrested, charged and brought before a court of justice, a Naga Customary Rights Court. Why?
Because, apart from raising suspicion that the NSCN took the law into its own hands and hands down capital punishment at will, killing him outright, apprehending to publicly prosecute him would expose not only himself but also all concerned who collaborated with him; those who were involved. Handing Khathing over to the Ministry of Justice of the Government of Nagalim consequently the NSCN would have achieved clarity and credibility. The majority of Nagas are Christian and capital punishment is the opposite of turning ‘the other cheek’. Thou shall not kill!
Any government acts on behalf of its people and is accountable to the people. Justice for all is the foundation of a true nation and the Government of Nagalim is no exception to that. Consequently severe punishment for selling out the rights of the Nagas and violently turning against his own yes,
Capital punishment no.
The Naga International Support Center in recognizing the immense and growing difficulties the NSCN is facing and has to deal with, calls on the wisdom of the leaders to be the example of the Naga People, to live by what it professes and to show the world that in the heat of pressure it does not deter it from its just cause.
NSCN (I-M) convicts ‘Lt. Col’ Hopeson (NPn)
DIMAPUR, “General Court Martial” (GCM) of the NSCN (I-M) after thorough hearing of the murder case of Dr.Kishan and his driver Aribam Rajen and an official Y.Token, who were killed February 17 near Senapati, has convicted ‘Lt.Colonel’ Hopeson Ningshen, the then “Commanding officer” of Kiusumong Battalion Naga Army posted in Wung Tangkhul Region (WTR).
The NSCN (I-M) through a statement issued by its MIP Thursday said that as per Naga Army Act of Rules and Regulation (NAARR) 2002 “Lt.Colonel” Hopeson Ningshen bearing Army No. ST-28014, was convicted guilty of abduction, illegal detention and ultimate murder of Dr.Kishan and his two associate Aribam Rajen and Y.Token under Article 70 Clause 3, Sub Clause V Article 76 Clause ii of NAARR. The MIP release further said that GCM was satisfied to terminate “Lt.Colonel” Hopeson Ningshen with immediate effect from the service of the Naga Army.
The GCM has also dismissed all his services rendered to the Nation, including all military decoration and ranks awarded to him has been stripped off, it stated.
Further, the MIP informed that he would undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years starting from the day he was arrested.
Beside he would also have to pay a fine of Rs. 50,000 to the GPRN. In default of which he shall undergo simple imprisonment for another one year six months, MIP/GPRN added.
Why issue charge sheet after killing?
A charge sheet dated 9/4/09 against my father, late J. Khating had been delivered to the family members by a messenger of GPRN after 15 days of execution. In true sense and correct definition, a charge sheet is to be issued for a trial, to a person who is alive, so that he can defend himself against the allegations either false or true, to surrender or to plead, to persecute or to forgive in the final judgment.. However, being the son of the deceased, I am compelled to give my views on my father’s political thoughts and activities. My father’s personal versions in response will be different if he had been given a chance to survive.
Had my father taken the course against the national interest, security and political rights of the Nagas, why the soldiers of Nagalim for Christ had masked their faces, chosen a dark night for awarding punishment? A nation’s heroes should be vice-versa. To kill an aged man, 72 years old, with masked face and in the dark night is not digestive and impressed created and blurred. And why the hand of the eliminator could not write the words charge sheet before execution to keep away the family members and public from confusions? Was it an intention or a strategy to shroud the murder of my father? When I enquired many high ranking officials and seniors of NSCN-IM about its responsibility of the incident, I got negative response from every quarter. But, why today, the GPRN (IM) has taken responsibility for the killing? Doesn’t it mean that every NSCN-IM is empowered arbitrarily or given license to kill according to his own wish? Or else, is GPRN a government without a system of governing body? It indicates that someone with hidden agenda, vested interest and personal grudges against my father did mastermind and conspire the killing.
My father is also alleged to have leaked very secret and confidential matters of NSCN to the enemy. Who are your enemies? I would like to know the details of leakage by my father.
Every individual has the right to have his own political ideology, principle and convictions and my father too had. No doubt, my father was a very outspoken person. He believed that participation in Indian election during cease fire (peace process) by NSCN is a political suicide for the Nagas as Indian Govt. is always trying to lay traps and hypnotize the Nagas with temporal power and wealth. He also did not believe the principle of Non-Stop Cease Fire notion (NSCN). He felt that Indian Govt. is taking advantage of ‘longer period, lesser security, more talks more mistakes’. But all his convictions, sacrifices and contributions towards the Naga movement had fallen into pits of adversities because he had no gun power and money power in his hand. He always disagree the NSCN’s principle of refusing to accept the Constitution of India, but contradictorily, participating in the Indian Govt. elections which are held within the Constitution of India. He took it as a contradiction of political ideology and principle of NSCN-IM.. It shows losing of revolutionary spirit and the concept of sovereignty. So, he openly opposed the NSCN-sponsored candidates in every election. Here cropped up a question of my father’s killing just on the eve of MP Election. He is wrong and fit to be awarded with befitting penalty, if all these concepts of my father are anti-Naga and anti-revolutionary for the Naga people.
None of the family members were aware of the repeated warnings served to my father as claimed by the GPRN. Even at his last juncture of life, he pleaded even to his killers – “What wrong have I done? Let us reason together” but he was given no time to do so.
Let us know the truth from any organization if my father had any collaboration with any outfit, i.e. anti-Naga and anti-NSCN. Let the whole world know the truth about the capital punishment awarded to my father if any organization can justify his collaboration with anti-Naga and anti-NSCN.
I wish the blood of my father will bring everlasting peace and permanent solution to the Indo-Naga problem. Every drop of his blood has the right to claim for the peace he had sacrificed and contributed. He died fighting for his political ideology and conviction and they killed him for a nation’s goal. God is always with us to answer the right judgment and every Naga has the right to have their own conclusion in their hearts and mind.
S/o Late J. Kathing
Ukhrul Dist. Manipur